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Use Windex and coffee filters. The fibers in the coffee filters help get handprints and other things off stainless steel much better than a paper towel and dries clean without leaving smudges.
By Debbie N from Tacoma, WA
For 3 years I have been struggling to keep my stainless steel appliances clean. They always have drip marks and finger prints on them. Finally, I found the perfect solution and it is something almost everyone has in their home.
First clean the surface with warm soapy water and rinse. Yes, I know, you're going to see a lot of streaks. But, then spray WD-40 on a soft, lint-free cloth (I used an old t-shirt) and wipe over the stainless steel surface. Just a tiny bit will do it.
A very thin layer of WD-40 will really shine your appliances up and keep them smudge free for a long time. If finger prints or smudges do show up, just a dry soft cloth will erase them instantly. What a time saver this has been! Try it for yourself.
Source: I found this tip online after a very frustrating, and unsuccessful cleaning attempt.
By antiquefreeque from WI
Mix 1/4 cup vinegar, 2 tbsp baking soda, and 1/8 cup hydrogen peroxide. Add 4-6 cups hot water. Use a clean cloth. Dip cloth in solution and wring out, leaving cloth a little sloppy. Wipe down stainless steel with cloth. Allow to sit a minute. Wipe down with a dry cloth. Then wipe with a microfiber cloth. Very shiny! This solution also works to mop linoleum and tile floors and to clean the bathroom!
If this mixture works for you, I say great. I doubt it would work for most people. First, the vinegar and soda would neutralize each other, making them ineffective as cleaning agents. You might as well leave them out. Second, cup hydrogen peroxide diluted in 4-6 cups water would have very little, if any, cleaning action. Couple that with the fact that H2O2 is very unstable in heat, the hot water would further reduce any cleaning action it may have had. So you can leave it out, too.
That leaves you with hot water. You could add vinegar. It is a good cleaning agent. Or, you could add soda, it too is a good cleaning agent. My favorite is clear, non sudsing household ammonia. The best, cheapest grease cutter on the planet. Yes, it has a strong scent. Use common sense and use it with adequate ventilation.
The water on the cleaned surface will evaporate. Ammonia is a gas. Any residue will evaporate into the air. That leaves your surface with no residue at all. Nothing to rinse.
You could mix ammonia and peroxide in warm water. Each will increase the effectiveness of the other. This is the base for bleaching hair. Be sure to use this mixture only on surfaces unaffected by its bleaching action.
Bathroom floors? Where pathogens can be an issue, I use straight 10 volume peroxide. I squirt it from a bottle, spread across the floor, leave it for an hour or so, then mop up and rinse.
After cleaning your stainless steel, smear on some baby oil with a dry cloth. The stains will be easier to remove in future.
By toybox45 from renfrew
To clean smudge marks off stainless steel appliances, make a paste of baking soda and water. Rub over the spots. Then wipe the appliance down with plain water, and dry.
The best way to clean stainless steel refrigerator doors and silver jewelry is toothpaste! Any brand will do, but it has to be the white paste. Use just a little, then wipe clean with Windex.
Take an empty spray bottle and fill it with half baby oil and half food-grade mineral oil. Spray on a cloth and apply in circular motion. Take another cloth and buff. This leaves a beautiful shine and lasts a while. It is much cheaper than any store-bought brand.
Stainless steel toasters can easily get stains and fingerprints on them. This is a guide about cleaning a stainless steel toaster.
While durable, stainless steel does have the disadvantage of showing water marks. This is a guide about removing water marks from stainless steel dishwasher front.
We have a smallish kitchen and stainless appliances. I've found my best solution is to use Awesome (at most dollar stores). I spray it, one door at a time, and use old towels or t-shirts to get some scrubbing ability.
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
I am wanting to find a way to clean the top and outside of my stainless steel gas stove. I have tried soapy water like the instructions say or just a wet wash cloth, but it always leaves water spots or smudges. Please help me. Thanks.
We have a stainless steel elevator in this building. We use baby oil on a t-shirt rag to wipe down the walls, it doesn't leave any streaks.
How do I get water spots off of stainless steel?
The stain is not really from the water. It is from the minerals in the water. Lemon juice or vinegar, both mild acids should react with the minerals to loosen them from the stainless steel so you can rinse them away. You could also use any of the products for mineral build up in the bathroom like CLR and I agree that Barkeepers Friend will also work. Make sure it is Barkeepers Friend and not Comet or Ajax. Barkeepers Friend has oxalic acid as it's active ingredient. You need a product with acid to remove the minerals. Best of luck.
I never removed the blue film from the front of my new stainless steel dishwasher. I was trying to keep it clean! I started to remove it today and it has glued itself to the stainless steel. I am very slowly pulling little pieces away, but this might take weeks.
Has this happened to anyone else? How might you proceed to remove the blue film without scratching or ruining the stainless front panel? Advice welcome.
Goof off along the edge, peel back a bit, work the goof off onto the new edge and pull gently. The goof off seems to penetrate a fraction of an inch into the adhesive and if you take your time, it will all come off. This was after I tried the hair dryer and got no where. The film was at least 15 years old!
We recently had a house fire and my stainless steel back splash and vent-a-hood have a dull, film on them. The cleaning people used industrial cleaner and stainless steel cleaner and it's still dull with no shine. I have recleaned both myself to no avail. Any suggestions on how to get this cleaned would be appreciated. Thanks.
By Jules J
Removing Smoke Residue from Stainless Steel
We recently had a house fire and my stainless steel back splash and vent-a-hood have a dull, film on them. The cleaning people used industrial cleaner and stainless steel cleaner and it's still dull with no shine. I have recleaned both myself to no avail.
I have a lot of buildup of stainless steel appliance cleaner. My frig doors are all smudged with build up. If I use the stainless cleaning pads I bought at the store, it looks good for a few hours, then it gets even more smudged with build up. Can anyone help me? I'm at my wits end!
By Julie from Medford, NJ
Use eazy off oven cleaner on stainless steel. All grease will lift off.
We recently had a house fire and my stainless steel dishwasher has a dull, film on it. The cleaning people used industrial cleaner and stainless steel cleaner and it's still dull with no shine. I have reclined it myself to no avail. What can I do?
What is the best way to clean around burners on a stainless gas range?
Can anyone help on how to clean fingerprints off of a stainless steal appliance?
By Janet K.
I work for a cleaning company and we use Elco stainless steel cleaner. A lot of our stainless steel fridges, dishwashers, and ovens are getting a greasy (sticky like) buildup. When we try to buff out smudges, it only gets worse. We do not know what to do? We need help getting the residue buildup off and then what would be good to use? Please help.
A good grease remover is Lestoil (good luck, finding that in your grocery store nowadays). Another is ammonia. If you can get commercial grade it is more cost effective and it lasts much longer because it is so strong. Be careful with it; the fumes are overwhelming, and you should dilute it. Be sure the windows are open while you use it. And wear protective gloves, with either of these.
Also, don't use synthetic cloth to clean the stainless steel with either of these products. Use only clean cotton material that has NOT been rinsed with fabric softener. Or use paper towels (but that is so UN-Thrifty).
Your stainless steel will gleam after a wash down with either of these.
I have dark discoloration stains from spills around my burners on my stove. Can anyone tell me what to use to remove them?
1. Spray on discoloration surface with Vinegar, then sprinkle Baking Soda onto wet surface. A chemical re-action will occur. Allow 15 minutes contact time, and wipe /rinse off with clean wet cloth or sponge. Repeat method if need be.
A harsh cleaner was used on some stainless steel appliances. It looks like it stripped away the surface. I am not sure if it was a clearcoat of some type. Please help! How can I restore the luster and shine to the front of the appliances?
By Kim from Sacramento, CA
My mother splashed Drano on her stainless steel coffee maker and it has left a terrible stain. I don't think that this can be polished off. What was the harsh cleaner that was used on your appliances? That might make a difference. If you find out how to bring back the shine to your appliances, perhaps I could do the same for the coffeemaker.
Is it safe to use vinegar to clean hard water stains in a washing machine with a stainless steel tub? If so, do I use full strength or dilute?
By JJ from The Woodlands, TX
I have dishwasher liquid stains on a stainless steel stove top. How can I remove them?
By Carol D from Muscat, Oman
The gel dishwasher soap has made marks on the stainless steel front panel. How can I get the marks out?
By Bonnie from Valparaiso, IN
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
How do I clean stainless steel appliances?
By email@example.com from FL
There are many products you could use. I use stainless steel cleaner in an aerosol can available most anywhere. Other people have used other products with good results such as pledge (06/18/2009)
You don't need any cleaner at all. Get a microfiber cloth-ring it in hot water. Wipe your appliances down. Do the same for window really works. (06/18/2009)
I completely agree with those who suggested microfiber cloths - they are miraculous. With only water, you can clean stainless steel, glass, mirrors, countertops, TV and computer screens, even painted surfaces. You can buy a large package of them in the auto department of Wal Mart or at an auto supply store - much cheaper than the ones in the linen dept. (06/19/2009)
Just scrolled through reading all of the suggestions. My appliances her covered with water spots, fingerprints (two small children are so hard on stainless steel) and some very light surface rust (very annoying for appliances that are only a few years old.)
Until now we have always used the stainless steel cleaning spray- It hasn't worked very well.
Anyway, the only thing I had on hand was the baking soda. With a toothbrush, I scrubbed the surface of my stainless steel appliances (testing a small area first), rinsed with a warm wet rag, and then dried with a clean soft cloth. It was a laborious task but the results were amazing.
The rust, the water spots, the fingerprints, everything is gone and my appliances look like they did the day we put them in!
Well worth the time invested!
To clean stainless steel appliances use an after-shower spray, which are basically highly softened water. Spray and wipe with microfiber cloth or paper towels. No streaking! I tried at least seven other cleaners before hitting upon this inexpensive method.
By digby from PA
Just when your kitchen's stainless steel appliances seem doomed to be forever smudged and streaked, here comes Mr Stainless Shine to the rescue. My personal 5 step clean and shine method will make even the worst stainless look new again.
Step 1: Aquire a "Mr Clean, Magic Eraser " cleaning pad. Pour rubbing alcohol onto pad. GENTLY rub cleaning pad with the grain of the surface until all of the drip marks and finger prints are gone. Let air dry. Dispose of cleaning pad properly.
Step 2: With a micro-fiber cloth, wipe entire surface with clean hot water to remove all residues. Dry with a second dry micro-fiber cloth.
Step 3: Using a third micro-fiber cloth, pour baby oil onto the cloth and rub with the grain. Cover entire surface. When done, you may find that the oil is heavy in some spots and thin in other spots. Just try pushing a little harder while buffing with the grain till the surface looks evenly distributed.
Step 4: Using yet another micro-fiber cloth,fresh and clean and free of anything, buff the surface until it shines like BRAND NEW.
Step 5: Once done,for maintained, you may have to wipe surface with a clean micro-fiber cloth to occasionally redistribute oil and high gloss shine.
Disclaimer: As with all new cleaning techniques, please try this method in an inconspicuous spot that will not be seen if it does not work as described.
Thanks and good luck with that pesky stainless steel that's no longer pesky.
By Mr Stainless Shine from Pittsburgh, Pa.
Every week I put a little mineral oil on a soft dish cloth that I use just for that purpose, and shine away. I've never had to use anything else, and family members as well as two contracters I've hired, now use it to polish up stainless steel they use. (11/12/2009)
Are you kidding me? who has time for the 5 steps? Really, just use Lemon Oil! I have all SS appliances and all I do is put some Lemon Oil on a micro fiber cloth, and clean as I would anything else! I always have friends telling me how great my kitchen appliances look! (11/21/2009)
You have GOT to be kidding "Mr. Stainless Shine"! I will try the other suggestions on here though. As I said on another posting here "Avoid Buying Stainless Steel appliances". NEVER AGAIN!(05/08/2010)
What is the best way to clean stainless steel appliances?
Robin from Petaluma, Ca
We bought a new house with stainless appliances and regretted it minutes after moving in. Anyone with kids knows this already - and we have 5 kids.
Finally I got it: wipe with a clean cloth and warm water. NO barkeeper's helper, that removes the protective coating on some stainless. Careful with Pledge and other waxy stuff - that'll build up. Wipe with warm water, then a small spray of WD-40. Polish the appliance with a dry paper towel, and wipe until it looks dry. Prevents fingerprints, lasts forever, and makes cleaning next time really, really easy.
Note that a lot of the expensive wipes from Endust or Pledge contain the same silica based solution...this is just way, way cheaper. (09/18/2008)
By Rick Rick
The woman with five children had the ultimate solution - WD40 after wiping with warm water. Bingo! That is the best solution I've tried and my appliances look wonderful - shiny and clean. Trust someone with five kids to have the answer to problem cleaning. She's my hero! (10/03/2008)
Use Mother's Mag and Aluminum Polish followed by your standard stainless steel cleaner, and water marks on your fridge will be gone. (10/05/2008)
By John S.
I use mineral oil and keep a not-too-oily rag around for knives, cutting boards and various stone tools. After thoroughly cleaning my stainless steel refrigerator with 90% alcohol, I gave it a good rubbing of mineral oil. Now, I can just give the refrigerator a swift wipe with said not-too-oily rag and fingerprints are gone. BTW, the coating is thin enough that it does not feel oily and does not collect dust.
I use mineral oil because it is food safe and will not go rancid like vegetable-based oils. (10/13/2008)
By Mugly W.
Use 100% pure virgin olive oil on a lint free, clean cloth, to polish stainless steel to a smudge free shine. I hardly believed it myself but tried it today on my stainless steel refrigerator and was truly amazed.
We bought a stainless steel refrigerator with French doors about 8 months ago. It was expensive and is beautiful.
Need to know how to clean stainless steel fronts of kitchen appliances. I know to go with the grain, but what do I use?
We have recently moved to a home that has stainless steel appliances and I have a hard time keeping them free of fingermarks, etc.